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Seventieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War: Special solemn meeting of the GA in commemoration of all victims of the Second World War

Wednesday, 06 May 2015

Statement by
H.E. Ambassador Catherine Boura
Permanent Representative of Greece to the United Nations

NEW YORK
Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Seventieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War: Special solemn meeting of the GA in commemoration of all victims of the Second World War

Monsieur le Président,

La Grèce voudrait s’associer à l’intervention prononcée au nom de l’Union Européenne.

En tant que Représentant de la Grèce je tiens à vous remercier pour la convocation de cette Séance Solennelle de l’Assemblée Générale pour la Soixante-dixième anniversaire de la fin de la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale qui fut une des plus sanglantes et destructives dans l’histoire moderne de l’humanité.

Mr President,

The people of Greece - a country among those most severely inflicted by this war- remember with pride the role of their forefathers in the historic victory against inhumanity and tyranny. We are therefore proud to join other nations in paying tribute to the millions of men and women who fought and to all those who lost their lives defending freedom and universal values. In this context, we do not forget the tragedy and the victims of the Holocaust.

In 1940 Greece secured the first victory against fascism.  In 1944 it was left a ruined country in rubble and poverty: a state which had lost 10% of its population; it lost 86% of its Jewish communities; an estimated 250.000 people had died from famine; 18% of its population was left homeless; the country had lost one third of its villages, half of its agricultural production and 40% of its livestock, as well as a major part of its infrastructure and merchant marine.

It was the vision of a better world that made us join in 1945 the 50 nations which established the United Nations resolved to create a world, where peace and reconciliation would prevail. 

The devastating Second World War, just a few years after its end, brought about the biggest peace project in history, the creation of the former European Communities, bringing former foes together in a single European family.  It is not by chance that in 2012 the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, acknowledging its role in the advancement of peace and reconciliation, human rights and democracy in Europe.

Mr President,

2015 marks 70 years from the founding of the United Nations, as it was in 1945 that fifty-one states came together to endorse the United Nations Charter, vowing not to let this dark chapter of  war repeat itself again.

We still, however, live in an imperfect world, plagued by wars and conflicts, inequality and poverty, climate change and pandemic disease, destruction and terrorism. The challenges that we now face are different from those 70 years ago.
Many of them on a global scale, can only be successfully tackled if we work closely, hand in hand, with perseverance and resolve.  The lessons learned from the immense suffering, carnage and destruction caused by war, should strengthen our commitment and efforts to ensure peace and security, to support justice and human rights and to promote progress and development.

Today, our much larger family of 193 countries should remain committed to carry on the legacy of the past generations who fought valiantly and died for the freedom of many among us.     

Thank you for your attention.

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